The Rangers financial fiasco has spiraled from one disaster to another this past week, but today it came to a head as the players agreed a wage cut to save the club from extinction.
The will they, won't they saga has dragged on from the early part of this week, but players and administrators came to an agreement that secures the club's future, albeit only until the end of the season or a new buyer comes in—whichever happens first.
Big name and big salaried players bore the brunt of the wage cuts with Steven Davis, Allan McGregor, Steven Naismith and Steven Whittaker all accepting 75 percent pay cuts until the end of the season. (What is it with all the Stevens at Rangers?)
The rest of the players have agreed to pay cuts depending on their pay range, with some taking 50 percent pay cuts and others taking 25 percent cuts.
Duff and Phelps issued the following statement on behalf of Rangers Football Club (via rangers.co.uk):
Partner Paul Clark, said: "We are pleased to announce today a package of cost-cutting measures has been agreed with the Rangers playing staff that enables the Club to move forward.
"The agreement on very substantial wage reductions and voluntary departures from the Club represents a major sacrifice by the Rangers players.
"The discussions have been lengthy and by no means easy for anyone involved but the most important objective in all of this process has been to achieve an outcome that will help save the Club.There are a small number of matters still to be dealt with over the weekend but we do not believe these will be insurmountable in the completion of an agreement.
"The players deserve great credit and we are in no doubt that this agreement is the best way to achieve the necessary cost savings to ensure the continuing operations of the Club while preserving the fabric of the playing squad.
"The agreement has also directly prevented substantial job losses among non-playing staff both at Ibrox and Murray Park.
"This has been a difficult week for everyone at the Club and we are pleased that we can now move forward and focus on the next steps in the recovery process."
The cost cutting programme includes:-
•First team playing squad members agreeing substantial temporary wage cuts ranging from 25% to 75% of their salaries.
•The senior football management team accepting temporary wage cuts.
•The wage cuts will prevent widespread job losses at the Club.
•Non-playing job losses are being kept to a minimum.
Mr Clark said: "Everyone involved in the process, the Duff and Phelps team, the manager, the PFA Scotland and, most importantly, the players themselves made every effort possible to reach a consensual position where job losses among the playing staff were either prevented or kept to the minimum.
"This required a commitment to very substantial temporary wage cuts and we're very pleased to say that after all our discussions this has been achieved.
"The considerable sacrifice the players at Rangers have made has saved the jobs of other people at the Club and we fully recognise the football staff are paying a very heavy price for the greater good.
"It is to their eternal credit the players and the management have sought to find a solution that helps protect the fabric of the Club.
"We are especially grateful to the manager, Ally McCoist, who has put the interests of the Club, his players and the staff first and foremost at all times.Senior first team players have also been very helpful in trying to secure a successful outcome.
"We should be absolutely clear that this Club is in a perilous financial situation and there are no easy options. If substantial cost reduction could not be achieved then the Club would not survive until the end of the season.
"Administration is never a painless process and is imperative if the Club is to survive that the business trades viably through the period of administration.
"As regards non-playing staff, job losses will be kept to a minimum. The recently opened London office will close and another recently appointed employee will leave the business.
"We still hold to our view that the future of Rangers can be secured and the measures announced today will be an important part of the recovery process."
It may at first glance seem like justice to some players, as it is all too often perceived that their wages are exorbitant for what they do. But as in any walk of life, you change your lifestyle to suit your means.
Take this as an example: If one of the players were earning £20,000 a week—ridiculous, I grant you, given that most of us would play for our chosen team for nothing, but that's what they earn never the less.
Now take 75 percent from that, and they are left with £5,000. That's still quite a substantial amount to the rest of us but that player now lives in a nice house, drives fancy cars and pays for private school for his kids, all on the presumption he earns £20k a week.
I am not trying to say that that sort of money is correct for what they do. If you look at the big picture, there are players out there earning 10 times that amount on a weekly basis, so in this instance, it's not a great deal. But is it fair for them take this pay cut because the owner of the club is a financial numpty?
If you earned £2,000 a month, would you accept just £500 to keep your job? No? Neither would I, because I would need that £2k to pay my bills, to live in the lifestyle I had grown accustomed to. So before many jump on the "they earn too much money anyway" bandwagon, think about this.
As for Celtic fans gloating, dream on.
If Rangers collapse, so do you. Without Rangers, there is no Old Firm. Without the Old Firm, there is no competition in Scotland. Without the Old Firm, there is no TV money or sponsorship.
Without this, there is no European football. Without European football, there is no incentive for "has been" foreigners to come play in our premier division. Without your old foe, you will die.
You are both cut from the same cloth—two halves of a pea pod; you're ying, they're yang. You cannot, you will not survive in your current state without them.
Instead of gloating just because "they did the same to us back when we were financially destitute," think of the big picture. Think of what your club would be like without the draw of the Old Firm. Think what it would be like for Scottish football—think what it would be like to not play Rangers umpteen times a year.
The rest of the supporters throughout Scotland have wished that both sides of the Glasgow Old Firm would bugger off to new climates for many years and leave us in peace to support our clubs without the constant sectarian bile that is spouted from some of their fans' mouths wherever they travel.
But we need someone to hate. That's the case in any walk of life. Even at work, there is always one hate figure, one numpty that no one likes. Think about it, and you will agree. That's what the Old Firm are to the rest of the clubs in Scotland.
Today, though, the players took the decision to save their club, with PFA's Fraser Wishart claiming that some of the players offered to play for nothing if it saved the club. Big words—let's see how they fare in the coming months.
The club has now been saved and can fulfil its fixtures for the remainder of the season, even if a new buyer doesn't come in, although a consortium has been touted as being interested.
Former Rangers director Paul Murray is in the final stages of putting together an offer for the Ibrox Club which include two supporters groups and Ticketus who are owed a reputed £25 million from previous ticket sales.
Who knows what will happen, but for now, the club will survive to the end of the season.
Marc Roseblade is a Contributor for Bleacher Report & NotJustScottishFootball. He works as PR for Ayr United Football Academy & Galveston Pirate Soccer Club who play in the NPSL in Texas, USA. All quotes are obtained first-hand unless otherwise stated.